Ex President and current Chief Patron of the Islamia School Kargil (ISK), Syed Jamal kept three point agenda to accomplish in his tenure. The three agendas he mentioned in an exclusive interview with the correspondent of Ladakh Express are: to continue the Peace Process with another influential religious organisation of Kargil “ Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust”, not to re-establish the Youth Wing and keep politics at bay from the organisation.
He mentioned the same point earlier also in his address on the occasion on which he himself was appointed as the Chief Patron. A new row of controversy has been emerged in the organisation after the “illegitimate election” conducted by only “a portion” of the organisation “without the consent” of the continuing president, Syed Jamal.
Syed Jamal announced to conduct the five-yearly election for the executive bodies of the Islamia School Kargil. On the day of election on 5th May, a faction asked to launch ballet box system about which Syed Jamal was not aware. However the former trend was to raise hands by the electoral board which is only 310 in number. This new demand for ballet box was declined by Syed Jamal by saying that it need proper arrangement and moderate conducting team. This issue soared into a full-fledged conflict; as a result Syed Jamal postponed the election and walked out. In the absence of the opponent the rival group declared Sheikh Nazir-ul-Mehdi Muhammadi as the new president showing a majority of votes gained by Sheikh. After the Friday prayers on 6th of May a proper announcement was also made declaring Sheikh Nazir as the new President. On the same day Syed Jamal issued a new public notice to the media and declared that the election has been postponed and the result shown by the rival group is not true. He also posed himself as the continuing President of the organisation. On 8th of May a public meeting was also conducted in Sankoo by the Syed Jamal faction, in which the election process was condemned and declared as illegitimate.
On 10th of May, in a Public meeting Syed Jamal was nominated as the Chief Patron in which Syed Jamal accepted Sheikh Nazir as the new president and pledged to support in all affairs, “if Sheikh believes on him”. He kept the three point agenda for the first time on that day. On the occasion of Eid e Baraat (Birth Anniversary of the 12th Imam) Sheikh pledged to reform the Youth Wing and maintained that the peace process is a long way to peace. He proposed to go 30 years back in order to sustain peace in Kargil. These two agendas seemed to be in contrary to Syed Jamal. To get more insight into the matter Ladakh Express conducted an exclusive interview with Syed Jamal.
Syed Jamal declared the election as an “act of goons” sponsored by some political figures. He declared the election as “illegitimate, goons act and politically motivated” both in his meeting at Sankoo and during the interview. Syed Jamal accepted the position of the Chief Patron and conceded election of Sheikh Nazir as the new President. Explaining his acceptance to the “illegitimate election” he told that “Clerics made down-to-earth request to him” which forced him to accept it. He accepted the position of the Chief Patron on the condition to have the same powers as “(Sheikh Hussain) Zakiri of IKMT enjoins”. The power sharing formula between the Chief Patron and the newly elected President is still inconclusive. As per Syed Jamal this is expected to be decided soon in a couple of days.
Syed Jamal has vowed to continue the Peace Process with the IKMT for which he will urge the appointed committee to continue or will replace it by a new one if needed. Secondly Syed Jamal is totally against the formation of Youth Wing. He believes that like the past “we (ISK) are not in a state of war; neither our opponents are in such a state, so we do not need a youth wing at all”. Lastly, he wishes to keep politics at bay from the organisation which creates lot of problem. He wants the people interested in politics to meet with the ISK Command in their office and not allow them to carry out political functions in the organisation premises. This stand of the Chief Patron has been advocated by the newly chosen President of the ISK, Sheikh Nazir Mohmmadi as well.
In case of not fulfilling the three agendas, Syed Jamal has vowed to “compete with them (the rivals within the organisation)”. He told that to be an antagonist of the IKMT is not good for the welfare of the society. He said that he has no problem in sending supplications to the soul of Imam Khomeini who was a Mujtahid, of whom he himself was a follower. Politicising and propagating this conflict is not good only but disadvantageous as well. Similarly in celebrating the death anniversary of Imam Khomeini is not bad as like we celebrate the death anniversary of Gandhi and Nehru, nonetheless “Khomeini was our Marja-e-Taqleed”.
ISK has received a letter from Mehdavipur to send back the representatives for peace process to Delhi to resume the talks as soon as possible. Accordingly Syed Jamal has planned to sent the delegation to Delhi and resume the peace talks. The continuing ‘Mehdavipur Peace Process’ is slightly different from the ‘Karcha Peace Process’. The Karcha Peace Process was embarked when a group of clerics from Karcha took an initiative to mediate talks for integration between the two influential prominent organisations of Kargil. The representative of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Mehdavipur also encouraged the effort for integration. The prominent well-wisher and representative of Ayatollah Sistani, Molana Qalbi Sadiq from Lucknow also urged the two organisations to cooperate in integrating the two groups. Unfortunately the Karcha Peace Process didn’t last for a long time. In the later stage Ayatollah Mehdavipur called five members delegation from both the contending parties to Delhi to embark a new round of talks.
In the past talks both the parties almost have been agreed to negotiate the Peace Talks. As a move towards a comprehensive peace agreement an incremental peace agreement was signed between the two contending parties in which both agreed to abandon hate speech against each other. This move could be seen as an availability of potential to continue the peace process. Unfortunately the current reshuffling in the apex body of the Islamia School Kargil has stalled the peace talks for a time being. With the pledge of Syed Jamal this is expected to resume soon.
By Anwar Ali Tharpa